“Arwen! Arwen!” called Elladan and Elrohir, Elrond’s twin sons, from a small garden behind Imladris.

Arwen sleepily went to the window of her room and looked out at her brothers. She smiled at them, and said “I’ll be out in a minute!” The boys nodded and ran to the stables to fetch their horses as well as Arwen’s.

That day was the 1872nd birthday for their sister – she was about the same, physically, as a thirteen-year-old mortal child. The twins were nearly the equivalent of fourteen-year-old mortal children, but a mortal child born that day would be thirty-three years old by the time they were.

Arwen rushed out in her riding clothes, her flowing black hair turned up slightly. “What took you so long?” Elladan asked.

“Mother made me sample one of the lembas loaves she just made,” Arwen answered.

“Is she still trying to make them as well as Grandmother?” Elrohir asked.

“Probably,” Arwen laughed. “Even though all of us know, in our hearts, that she never will. Father knows she won’t, even when he feels especially loving.”

“Which is a shame, because Mother tries so hard,” Elladan said. “Hey, up Nenya!” he called to his horse.

Arwen gave him a playful nudge and a look. “Don’t tell me you named that horse after Grandmother’s ring!” she cried.

“I won’t, if you don’t tell Grandmother,” Elladan’s eyes sparkled.

“Oh, you wicked boy!” Arwen laughed. “Whatever drove you to do that?”

“It was my idea, Arwen,” admitted Elrohir. He was mischievous to the brim but usually very penitent later.

Arwen smiled at her older brother. “I was joking, Elrohir. I don’t think Grandmother would mind.” She leaned over and kissed her brother’s cheek, at which he grinned.

“Are you coming?” groaned Elladan impatiently.

“Yes,” Arwen replied. “Let me saddle up Bellasiel.”

Bellasiel was Arwen’s horse, and her name meant strong one. She suited her name perfectly. Nenya was saddled up, and Elrohir’s precious Morwen was also ready to ride. She was a beautiful black horse, and so she suited her name – dark lady.

The three siblings laughed long and loud as they rode over the bridge and out into the woods. The boys decided that it would be fun to race, and Arwen heartily agreed. “That’s why I tied my hair back,” she smiled.

“Alright, we’ll race from this tree to that tree, way over there,” Elrohir said, pointing at a tree a good league from where they were. “Go!” he suddenly shouted, kicking Morwen’s flanks.

“Hey, Elrohir!” Elladan laughed as he and Arwen tried to catch up. But once Elrohir had gotten the head start, it could not be taken from him. As all three siblings finally reached the tree, they saw Legolas, son of Thranduil of Mirkwood, ride up. He was older than Arwen and the twins by a small amount, but he still played with them at times.

“Legolas, what are you doing here?” Arwen asked.

“That’s a nice greeting, Arwen,” Legolas replied playfully and sarcastically. “Your father called my father to a council.” Arwen believed that. Her father held many councils. Legolas eyed her keenly. “Arwen?”

She looked at him brightly. “Yes?”

“Why do you still ride with the boys?” he asked her. “You’ve nearly reached maturity, you know, and are too old to be acting like a tomboy, aren’t you?”

Arwen rolled her eyes, but they were still sparkling. She couldn’t deny that she was growing up, but she was embarrassed that Legolas had noticed. “I will ride with my brothers until I can no longer sit up on a saddle!” she said defiantly.

“Hear, hear!” Elrohir shouted, which made everybody laugh.

Legolas smiled at Arwen, but then heard his father call from a short distance away. “I must go,” he said. “Goodbye Elladan, Elrohir, Arwen.” As he spoke her name he added a noticeable emphasis and shot her a playful evil look. Arwen blushed slightly, and then turned to face her brothers.

“Goodness, sis,” Elladan laughed. “Has Legolas got you!”

“Valar be praised!” Elrohir joined in. “I think Arwen will make a natural princess of Mirkwood!”

Arwen blushed at their teasing. “Legolas is a nice Elf, I will admit, but I will not marry him! I just know it,” she said. She looked off into the distance, as if concentrating really hard. “I don’t know what it is – there is something within me that’s telling me to wait and see when it comes to marriage.”

Elladan and Elrohir looked at each other and shrugged. When their sister spoke mysteriously like that, she was beyond their understanding. They rode back to Rivendell and walked right through their father’s council. He didn’t mind that, he was used to three teenage Elf-children storming about every which-way. Arwen saw that Legolas was seated there at the council. A tiny spark of jealousy sprang up within her breast. Since when was he invited? She thought. But, oh! Did he look handsome and important!

The boys were taking the horses to the stables, and they had urged Arwen to go inside and finish making dinner with their mother, Celebrian, because they were starving. So she smiled and agreed. She never liked putting the horses away anyway, and her brothers knew it. As she walked in her mother smiled at her and offered her some more lembas.

“I know it’s not as good as Grandmother’s,” she said. “But please, Arwen dear, tell me what you think.”

Arwen tasted some and smiled. “Delicious, mama,” she said. “You’d know you were Grandmother’s daughter, it’s so good!”

Celebrian embraced her. “Oh Arwen, you are a good girl,” she cried. “Now tell me, how was riding with the boys?”

“We were fine,” Arwen smiled, but she was hungrily looking at the food her mother had prepared. “Mama, am I getting too old to ride with the boys? Am I too much of a tomboy?”

Celebrian laughed. “Whatever got that idea into your head?”

“Legolas,” Arwen admitted. “We saw him while we were out. He said I’ve nearly reached maturity and I really am getting too old for that kind of traipsing around after my brothers.”

Celebrian ran her fingers through her daughter’s tangled ebony hair and kissed her flushed cheek. “Legolas is right, dear,” she said. “You are growing up. Soon you’ll be able to get married, and have children. That doesn’t mean you can’t ride with your brothers, but it does mean that you will have to start acting more feminine. No girl can be a tomboy forever.”

“Mama?” Arwen asked. “Another thing – do you think that Legolas will want to court me? He seemed to be treating me awfully nicely, and treating my brothers as usual.”

“He may, dearest,” Celebrian said. “But there is nothing wrong with that. Legolas is a fine young Elf. Or he may just see that you’re growing up and he’s treating you as he would if you were just another adult female Elf, you know, being polite.”

“I want to be Legolas’ friend and nothing more,” Arwen sobbed. “I don’t feel like I will marry an Elf, mama, to tell you the truth.”

“But you must marry, and marry well,” Celebrian said. “You are the only daughter of Elrond – you may be Half-Elven, but you are still graced with the life of the Eldar. Those are big titles, Arwen. Besides, you’ve always liked the idea of getting married.”

“Yes, I know,” Arwen said. “But I don’t know what’s wrong with me. It’s too difficult to figure life out, mama,” she laid her head on her mother’s shoulder as a few tears trickled out of her eye. “However did you survive?” Her grey eyes sparkled with the tears.

Celebrian smiled and kissed her ebony head. “You’ll discover life for yourself, my little Undomiel,” she said. “I think you will find that it is easier than you may imagine. And then, you will be truly happy.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email